“Horns” by Kyle Walsh

in a ragged blare, scratchy,
atonal, drums on low
tom toms rolling, falling out of their rhythms,
inflationary lilt of the bass, distortion
maniacal, instinctive rush:

writhing out, music
a stilllife of motion:

this is the way her song seeped in,
the daily cries cascading in,
yet seeming to rumble, redouble away,
not immune to neverending:
a lip lipped with iridium,
a dance of smutty flags atop metallic tongues,
black bile at the bottom of the coffee cup.

I went to see the oracle—
the oracle damned me.

She had a jigsaw face,
hair a menagerie of parrots,
pilfered volcanics in her outstretched hands,
she was the nth version of she.

She re-alchemized herself,
dove elliptical
into gulleys, aroused the indifinities—
climbing upon tree limbs

I tried the chiseled word—
She sang without words.

Unsang me,
this space that cannot be corralled—
under a ceiling infested with eye-gnomes,
discolorations, contorted faces,

lilith improvised my dreams,
yet with a rhythmic regularity and dance,
each night desire pressed into the barrels . . .

each day, mirages congealed in
a solitary sunburnt land
(that is my stomach, that is my mind).

I sing I? Preposterous!
But if I don’t have the words to explain myself,
when the time comes I will lead myself to the firing squad.

Creatrix, how do I scratch out these erratic ecstatics?
No fat on my bones to keep in warmth,
I let this cold desert wind pierce my skin
until this body grown thin against the elements becomes a
And before I sift away like a tower
of sand (sand that is pulverized bone),

coil me up inside of this leg, this thigh

the days have pooled into a sadness conjured from blank skies

re-twine the collapsed valves of this heart

every opening is a divide

I hold myself



Kyle Walsh grew up in New Jersey and went to Cornell University. He currently resides in Berkeley, California, where he writes, drums, and works at an independent bookstore.